Licensing question

Dominic Wise dominic.wise at
Wed Jan 4 11:28:13 CST 2006

On Wed, 2006-01-04 at 17:00 +0100, Andreas Mohr wrote:
> Hi,
> On Wed, Jan 04, 2006 at 03:29:22PM +0000, Dominic Wise wrote:
> > I have a question regarding the use of portions of Wine in a commercial
> > application. Sorry if this is not the right place to post but I am not
> > sure who I can directly address this to.
> np (I don't think wine-users would be an appropriate place for such a
> specific question)
> > The application my employer develops is a financial application designed
> > to work on Win 2K and Win XP, but we have a need for a Win32 function
> > that is only supported in XP (TzSpecificLocalTimeToSystemTime). We could
> > write an implementation of this function ourselves for Win 2K but I have
> > noticed that there is a full implementation in Wine.
> Are you sure this is the only Win32 API with this exact functionality?
> There might be a good reason why it's been introduced at such a late date
> as XP+ only...
> cd wine; find . -name "*.spec"|xargs grep -i time.*time

Pretty sure it's the only one. Not sure why it was added later. Maybe
there wasn't demand for it until XP came about.
> > Is it permissible to use the source for this function in our
> > application? If so, what provisions do we need to make with regard to
> > recognition of Wine and supply of source code to our customers ? 
> Err... no. (at least not directly)
> While Wine's license (LGPL) allows linking to Wine components, it still
> carries the same restrictions as the GPL license when it comes to directly
> integrating such code in closed-source programs.
> However I think(!) that it's legally valid to gather some "inspirations"
> from such code if absolutely needed and then write your own implementation
> of this function, much preferrably by first looking at the code and then,
> completely isolated, writing your own quite different code.
> (anybody please correct me NOW if this is fatally incorrect!)
> But I'm afraid the best way to avoid license violations is to code this
> function without looking at the (L)GPL'd implementation of this algorithm,
> if possible.
> Another way *might* be to ask the original author of this function
> (see CVS logs) whether he permits you to use his *original*, *unpatched*
> version of this function.
> BTW, if you absolutely want to directly use Wine-related code in a
> commercial (or, to be exact: proprietary) application, then may I direct you
> to ?
> This is a source tree mostly consisting of the old Wine codebase before the
> MIT -> LGPL license change.
> Problem is that rewind is too old to already contain an implementation of
> TzSpecificLocalTimeToSystemTime().
Hmmm... I thought from Dan Kegel's earlier response that it would be OK
to put the function into a separate library (DLL) and release this
library under a separate license to the rest of the application. It's a
pity if this is not permissible.

Anyone else have any thoughts on this? The 'inspiration' route seems
like cheating to me. I would much rather simply use the Wine code in a
way that is compatible with the LGPL, if this is possible. If not, I
probably just won't tell the developer working on this where to find the
Wine code.

> > I am currently trying to demonstrate the benefits of Open Source
> > technology to my employer (I have already replaced one proprietary
> > third-party component in our application with a better Open Source
> > implementation) and this could really help to move this process along.
> Nice! (hopefully code that uses a license that's compatible with proprietary
> applications, though)
They are a bit wary at the moment but the more benefits they see the
easier it will become.

Hope I'm OK on this one :- The program I am using (Open Object Rexx) is
licensed under the CPL. The FAQ for the CPL suggests to me that it's OK
to modify it and incorporate it into a proprietary application. In any
case, its actually under beta testing in a development version of our
application so it's not a disaster if licensing issues prevent it from
making it into the a general release.

> > Longer-term, I want to try and get the application running on Wine, but
> > that's another story.
> ...preferrably by fixing Wine bugs if there are any, instead of adding
> Wine workarounds to the application. :)
Of course!

> Andreas Mohr




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